• Tom Cruze/Sun-Times Media
  • A federal jury awarded Karolina Obrycka $850,000 after she was beaten by an off-duty Chicago police officer

If only it were an isolated incident.

Last week a federal jury ordered the city of Chicago to pay $850,000 in damages to bartender Karolina Obrycka, blaming a police code of silence for her 2007 beating by off-duty cop Anthony Abbate. The jury also found that investigators all but shrugged off the attack until a video of it surfaced weeks later.

Almost as soon as the decision was announced, a debate was underway about the award. Some argued it seemed relatively low given the viciousness of the assault. City officials vowed to fight it, even though they’ve already devoted an estimated $5 million to the case. Abbate, though, joked about the cost of the verdict to the Sun-Times: “I think I got a Visa card in my wallet.”

Yes, the whole thing is a real knee-slapper. Meanwhile, the taxpayers are left with the tab—again.